Field recording - Preamps.
My current setup for field recording is a couple of Line Audio CM3's into a Roland R-26.
This setup is far from ideal, but it works for the most part (Recording misc. sound effects. Doors, impacts, and so on and so forth).
Ambient recordings are difficult due to noise by heavy gaining. This is to be expected with a budget setup. I've used the CMC3's with other preamps, and I know they don't produce all that noise I'm hearing when I crank up the gain on the R-26. Of course, they're not exactly silent, but I do think the preamps on the R-26 are mostly to blame here. Which again, is to be expected.
So to make a long story short: Is there a portable preamp out there that is less noisy, but reasonably priced? I really want something to improve my sound until I can afford something along the lines of a SD mixer.
Or should I simply just leave it as is for now?
Any advice here would be greatly appreciative.
I was looking into this a while ago and realized that the mixpre-d from SD might work with the ipad. It presented a great option for inputs and being a class compliant usb interface, could be used with computer or ipad, possibly even android slate.
here's a video on a dslr setup
mixPre-D and iPad integration on Vimeo
Thanks for the reply!
Actually, it's the MixPre-D I'm saving up for. Where I live, it's over 1000$.
I'm looking at the Azden FMX-22 as a midway stop. Think it'll do me any good?
I've learned that good gear is worth it and getting what you really don't want comes up over and over again. Just save for what you want and even though it takes longer, it'll be worth it. especially SD stuff, it's rock solid.
Don't touch the azden, look around for second hand sound devices gear head over to jwsoundgroup.net people often have mixers for sale there.
Sent from my Nexus 4
You can get used Wendt mixers pretty cheap - they sound pretty nice IMO.
Check on ebay. Not in the same league than SD but still good and very cheap these days.
Thank you all for your input!
I'm currently looking into those Wendt mixers.
I think that the CM3 (16dBA noise) might be your main noise "contributor" when trying to record very quiet sources. The R-26 seems to have decent preamps for a hand-held (EIN -124dBu A-weighted @ max gain). Just to put things in perspective, a Rode NT1-A (5dBA) has a -118dBu noise floor.
If you do decide to buy a portable preamp, Naiant's tinybox has good specs and isn't very expensive.
Connected to my roland interface the floor noise difference is abismal, I'll record it the next time I use them.
It's not uncommon for cheap(er) preamps to have much more noise with low gain settings. Best way for the op to know for sure, is to choose a typical gain range for the job and test it using a terminated xlr plug (use a 150ohm resistor).